One of the things I have been busy with this week is to take stock of our 'lockdown learning', asking the questions 'what is working well?' and 'where can we improve?'. The concept of remote learning is still very new, still evolving and full of challenges. We are all doing our best to take those challenges head-on, but sometimes it can feel as if we're working on an island. This is equally true for staff and families.
The teachers reviewed our offer of class remote learning together. It is great to see the quality of the education that is happening and that it is well received. Due to our 'bubbles', classes are working independently from each other and it was therefore striking to see that the overall approach to learning at home remarkably similar across the school. Zoom meetings, daily timetable and activities shared on Dojo to be completed online, photos, or in their books are happening for all ages.
We are waiting for further responses from you to the remote learning survey. If you haven't yet given your feedback yet, please go to the link on our website. Your feedback is really appreciated!
The survey has already had an impact because one parent commented that it would be handy to have a brief general overview of weekly activities for the whole school. I made one today and shared it on the website. Please let us know if you would like us to send you a paper copy to stick on your fridge, we don't take it for granted that you have a printer...
Some parents responded that they would appreciate some support in their home learning. I hope that the resources from the EEF on our website will be useful to you. When we come across other good resources, we will make sure to add them.
After consulting with some of the families about the way forward with regards to free school meals, the feedback was that the food parcels were preferred over vouchers. This is because the parcels are good, none of the national supermarkets are easily accessible and families can continue to receive food parcels even if they have to isolate, which is a huge bonus!
What's been in the news?
Yesterday the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said that schools and parents would have a "clear two weeks" notice of when the children were going to return for teachers and families to get ready. Whilst I am happy to know that this will give us a the chance to prepare for the return of children to school, I wonder if this is an early indication that schools will be closed beyond half term? What nobody wants is more chaos and confusion, a 'stop-start approach' to reopening or more U-turns. It was also interesting to see that Downing Street were not so specific about this promise.
From next week, all staff in primary schools are testing themselves for Covid-19 twice weekly, so we are able to find cases even when people don't display any symptoms. It's another step to making schools safer for everyone.
And finally... I was contacted by the Calvert Trust earlier this week. They asked if I could do a shout-out for Oliver who will be 13 this year. He wants everyone to get involved with a Challenge to raise funds for the Calvert Trust.